June 17, 2013 :: EC minutes

Approved minutes of the EC meeting, Monday, June 17, 2013  from 6:30OM to 7:30PM via teleconference call. Attendees: co-chairpersons: Allan Brison, Linda Thompson and S. Michael DeRosa; treasurer: Christopher Reilly and secretary: Barbara Barry.  No other known attendees.

Discussed at this 6-17-13 EC meeting:

From the secretary: 

1. updates about  CT legislative bills: a) CT Legislature Passes Bill Outlawing Fusion for New and Small Parties, published on June 4, 2013, by Richard Winger on www.ballot-access.org website:  On June 4, the Connecticut legislature passed HB 6580, which outlaws fusion unless both parties had polled at least 15,000 votes for one of the state statewide offices at the previous gubernatorial election. The bill passed the House on June 1 and the Senate on June 4. It also alters campaign finance laws. See this story, which is not accurate when it says the bill entirely bans fusion. "Fusion" means the practice of two parties jointly nominating the same candidate, so that his or her name appears on the November ballot with both party labels.  Assuming the Governor signs the bill and it takes effect, it is probably unconstitutional. States are free to ban fusion if they wish, but they cannot do so in a discriminatory manner. For instance, the Third Circuit struck down a Pennsylvania law in 1999 that permitted fusion between two large parties but not fusion between a large party and a small party, in Reform Party of Allegheny County v Allegheny County Department of Elections, 174 F.3d 305.
This is the same bill that temporarily had another provision, making it illegal for a party to have "Independent" or "Independence" in its name, but that provision was deleted from the final bill.  In 2010, the Working Families Party and the Independent Party each polled over 15,000 votes for some or all of the statewide state offices, so they retain the ability to engage in fusion. But the Libertarian Party's highest statewide vote in 2010 was 14,748, and the Green Party's highest was 10,328, so this bill eliminates their ability to engage in fusion. Those two parties don't generally engage in fusion anyway, and the Green Party never does, but it is still unconstitutional to remove the ability from them and retain it for certain other parties. The bill also discriminates against newly-formed parties because they could not have met the requirement in the past gubernatorial election, because they didn't exist then. Consensus: may be unconstitutional. BAB: we need to clarify if this law addresses ALL CT elections including municipalities. LT: need to find out if the governor signed the bill. SMD will do.

2.  a) No update about the status of the U.S. Federal Election Committee audit at the Jill Stein for President office in Madison, Wisconsin. The audit started Tuesday, April 30th and is anticipated to continue for 4 or more weeks.  It is anticipated to be expensive so donations may be made to the Ben Manski, the campaign manager for Jill Stein when she ran as GPUS presidential candidate November 6, 2012. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;  request was authorized and paid for by Jill Stein for President, P. O. Box 2552, Madison, WI 53701 http://www.jillstein.org. SMD: Jill Stein has not responded to his multiple requests to clarify if she is available for a Sunday, July 14, 2013 fundraiser at Portland Senior Center in Portland, CT. SMD will continue to pursue her response but will cancel the 7.14.13 date due to lack of time for adequate advertising of the event.

3.  SMD and AB to write the GPCT Op-Ed media responses to the national A.C.L.U filed a lawsuit against the N.S.A. heir time for any GP of CT activity/event of their interest:  writing op-ed articles and letters to the newspaper and online editors; write for: GP of CT website, Facebook, etc.; speak at GP of CT SCC meetings or at sponsored public events; interact with CT legislatures about bills we would be supporting or opposing; etc.  The one hour commitment could be every month or once a year or any specified time that member was willing to do so.  Media response about drone attacks to be done by AB.  All media responses may be sent to: Tim McKee regarding press releases and Op-Ed pieces, David Bedell for Facebook and Cora Santaquida for twitter.

4.  Report of the GPCT Internal Elections Committee regarding the finalized results of the votes from the 4-27-13 GP of CT Annual Meeting. CR will report at the 6.25.13 SCC meeting.

5. Agenda items from Linda, co-chairperson:  a) Update on Mailing List Information: AB will try to get the New Haven mailing list from Jerry Miller and send to the GPCT secretary who will compile it with the 2010 CT SOS registered voter list, Ronna Stuller’s 4.13 list and the current Fairfield and current Greater Hartford lists.  Will acquire 2013 CT SOS registered voter list once funds are acquired. Will also have a list of non-Green Party members.

b) Discussed: GPCT members are developing a Norwich chapter. Next meeting is at 5PM on Wednesday, 6.26.13 at the Congregational Church in Norwich.  They are seeking candidates for the 2013 elections: several for City Council, Board of Education and parks. The Norwich Bulletin is in discussions with LT and G.Scott Deshafy regarding writing a column at times; c) possible GPCT outdoor summer one-day retreat: there are several which cost from $ 20 to $350. Some do not provide food or clean up.  SMD: suggest use of our state parks due to our limited finances and because it might be cooler under shade trees vs. beach or an open field.  and d) a 7.13.13 joint meeting is likely by the Civil Liberties group and Christopher Hedges and Media Benjamin.  LT will clarify information and send to GPCT listserv.

6.  CR will post chapter meeting schedules on Facebook.

7.  Need to determine who will be the three GPCT delegates to the July 25-28, 2013 GPUS Annual Meeting.

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Proposed agenda for the Tuesday, June 25, 2013 SCC meeting at 7PM at the Portland Senior Center:

1.  Review and: a) approve 5.28.13 SCC meeting minutes and b) accept the EC minutes of: 6.17.13 meeting.

2.  Treasurer's report from Christopher Reilly.

3. Agenda items from Linda, co-chairperson:  a) Update of GPCT Mailing List Information; b) Discuss: the development of the Norwich chapter. See 5 b above and c) possible GPCT all-day outdoor summer Retreat: see 5 c above. 

4.  Reports from our three (3) representatives to the GPUS:  Linda Thompson, Tim McKee,  and S. Michael DeRosa.

5.  Any proposals/ resolutions from chapters or a group of five  CTGP Members or from the EC.  

6.  Update from the Internal Elections Committee who monitored the internal election at the 4-27-13 GP of CT Annual Meeting.  

7.  GPCT response to: A.C.L.U. on June 11, 2013 sued the Obama administration on Tuesday over its “dragnet” collection of logs of domestic phone calls, contending that the once-secret program — whose existence was exposed last week by a former National Security Agency contractor — is illegal and asking a judge to stop it and order the records purged. The lawsuit could set up an eventual Supreme Court test. It could also focus attention on this disclosure amid the larger heap of top secret surveillance matters revealed by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor who came forward Sunday to say he was their source. The program “gives the government a comprehensive record of our associations and public movements, revealing a wealth of detail about our familial, political, professional, religious and intimate associations,” the complaint says, adding that it “is likely to have a chilling effect on whistle-blowers and others who would otherwise contact” the A.C.L.U. for legal assistance.  The Justice Department declined to comment on the suit.  In other lawsuits against national security policies, the government has often persuaded courts to dismiss them without ruling on the merits by arguing that litigation would reveal state secrets or that the plaintiffs could not prove they were personally affected and so lacked standing in court. This case may be different. The government has now declassified the existence of the program. And the A.C.L.U. is a customer of Verizon Business Network Services — the recipient of a leaked secret court order for all its domestic calling records — which it says gives it standing. The call logging program keeps a record of “metadata” from domestic phone calls, including which numbers were dialed and received, from which location, and the time and duration. The effort began as part of the Bush administration’s post-Sept. 11 programs of surveillance without court approval, which has continued since 2006 with the blessing of a national security court. The court has secretly ruled that bulk surveillance is authorized by a section of the Patriot Act that allows the F.B.I. to obtain “business records” relevant to a counterterrorism investigation. Congress never openly voted to authorize the collection of logs of hundreds of millions of domestic calls, but some lawmakers were secretly briefed. Some members of Congress have backed the program as a useful counterterrorism tool; others have denounced it. “The administration claims authority to sift through details of our private lives because the Patriot Act says that it can,” Representative F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., Republican of Wisconsin, wrote in a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. “I disagree. I authored the Patriot Act, and this is an abuse of that law.”  Over the weekend, James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, said that officials may access the database only if they can meet a legal justification — “reasonable suspicion, based on specific facts, that the particular basis for the query is associated with a foreign terrorist organization.” Queries are audited under the oversight of the national security court.  Timothy Edgar, a former civil liberties official on intelligence matters in the Bush and Obama administrations who worked on building safeguards into the phone log program, said the notion underlying the limits was that people’s privacy is not invaded by having their records collected, but only when a human examines them. “When you have important reasons why that collection needs to take place on a scale that is much larger than case-by-case or individual obtaining of records,” he said, “then one of the ways you try to deal with the privacy issue is you think carefully about having a set of safeguards that basically say, ‘O.K., yes, this has major privacy implications, but what can we do on the back end to address those?’ ” Still, privacy advocates say the existence of the database will erode the sense of living in a free society: whenever Americans pick up a phone, they now face the consideration of whether they want the record of that call to go into the government’s files.  Moreover, while use of the database is now limited to terrorism, history has shown that new government powers granted for one purpose often end up applied to others. An expanded search warrant authority justified by the Sept. 11 attacks, for example, was used far more often in routine investigations like suspected drug, fraud and tax offenses.  Executive branch officials and lawmakers who support the program have hinted that some terrorist plots have been foiled by using the database. In private conversations, they have also explained that investigators start with a phone number linked to terrorism, and scrutinize the ring of people who have called that number — and other people who in turn called those — in an effort to identify co-conspirators.  Still, that analysis may generally be performed without a wholesale sweep of call records, since investigators can instead use subpoenas to obtain relevant logs from telephone companies. Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado, two Democrats who have examined it in classified Senate Intelligence Committee hearings, claimed that the evidence is thin that the program provided uniquely available intelligence.  But supporters privately say the database’s existence is about more than convenience and speed. They say it can also help in searching for networks of terrorists who are taking steps to shield their communications from detection by using different phones to call one another. If calls from a different number are being made from the same location as calls by the number that was already known to be suspicious, having the entire database may be helpful in a way that subpoenas for specific numbers cannot match. It remains unclear, however, whether there have been any real-world instances in which a terrorist was identified in that way, or whether that advantage is to date only theoretical.  A 1979 ruling over small-scale collection of calling metadata held that such records were not protected by the Fourth Amendment privacy rights since people have revealed such information to phone companies. In a 2012 case involving GPS trackers, however, the Supreme Court suggested that the long-term, automated collection of people’s public movements might raise Fourth Amendment issues.

8. Additional GPCT responses to federal and CT legislature and Governor Malloy’s actions.  

9. Update regarding the GPUS Annual Meeting to be held July 25 through July 28, 2013 in Iowa City, Iowa; select delegates.

10.  Update regarding the anticipated Summer 2013 Jill Stein fundraiser/speech to the GP of CT at Portland Senior Center.

11.  Status of the GPCT Bylaws Committee from members:  Rolf Maurer, Cora Santaquida, Christopher Reilly, Linda Thompson, Barbara Barry, S. Michael DeRosa and Jeffry Larson. 

12. Reports from CTGP members to the (GPUS) National Committees.

Accreditation (AC): reviews any state chapter which petitions to join the GPUS; reviews criteria for state delegates to GPUS annual meetings and conventions.

Annual National Meeting (ANMC): working on the July 25-28, 2013 GPUS Annual Meeting: Tim McKee and John Went.  

Ballot Assess (BA): discussion of efforts, difficulties, strategies and  successes of the state Green Parties gaining ballot access:  S. Michael DeRosa and Edward Schwing.

Black Caucus:  

Bylaws, Rules, Polices Procedure (BRPP): for the GPUS officers and national committees: Amy Vas Nunes.  

Coordination Campaign (CCC): distribution of GPUS money to Green Party public office candidates.

Dispute Resolution (DRC):  mediation of any disputes within the GPUS organization.

Diversity (DC):  strategies and actions to urge/maximize diversity within the GPUS: Linda Thompson.

Eco Action (EA): develop strategies for the GPUS regarding ecological matters.

Finance (FinCom): review  and determine how to spend the money of the  GPUS organization.

Fundraising (FC): raises money for the GPUS operations.

Green Party of the US internet news: acquire and write articles for the GPUS website.  

International Committee (IC): develops/promotes GPUS positions regarding  world  issues.  Hector Lopez, Justine McCabe and S. Michael DeRosa.

Latino Caucus:  Hector Lopez.  

Merchandizing Committee (MERCH): determines and acquires items for the GPUS.  Rolf Maurer and Hector Lopez.  

Media Committee (MC): writes GPUS press releases.

Outreach (OC): interacts with other groups who may have similar interests of the GPUS: Linda Thompson.

Peace (GPAX): discusses/develops strategies of how the GPUS may promote peace throughout  the world: Hector Lopez and S. Michael DeRosa.  

Platform (PC): promotes positions on issues for the GPUS which are consistent with Green Party Ten Key Values: Justine McCabe  and Amy Vas Nunes.  

Presidential Campaign Support Committee (PCSC):  strategies to support any GPUS presidential candidates. Tim McKee.  

Women’s Caucus:  Martha Kelly. 

13. Political actions to be taken in the near future; events GPCT wishes to participate in.  

14. Chapter reports: verbal  to the attendees and the  written approved minutes to the CTGP secretary/EC members.

15. Selection of the date, time and site of the next July SCC meeting: possibly the last Tuesday of July i.e. July 30, 2013. 

16. Other suggestions.

GREEN PARTY TEN KEY VALUES: community-based  economics and economic justice, decentralization,  ecological wisdom, feminism and gender equality,  future focus and sustainability,  grassroots democracy,  non-violence, personal and global responsibility, respect for diversity,  social justice and equal opportunity.

                                                                                                                                                           

Submitted by Barbara Barry, secretary of the Green Party of Connecticut

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